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Grant Grabs Manitoba Glory

Manitoba Open 2011
08-13 Mar, Winnipeg, Canada, $25k
Round One
10 Mar
11 Mar
12 Mar
13 Mar
[1] Adrian Grant (Eng)
11-6 11-5 11-8
[Q] Joel Hinds (Eng)
Adrian Grant
8-11 7-11 11-5 11-3 14-12 (110m)
Robbie Temple
Adrian Grant
11-9 11-5 11-7 (48m)
Ryan Cuskelly
Adrian Grant
-11, 11-2, 11-2, 12-10 (65m)
Julian Illingworth
Rafael Alarcon (Bra)
 9-11 11-9 9-11 11-2 11-3
[Q] Robbie Temple (Eng)
Zac Alexander (Aus)
8-11 11-8 11-7 11-4
Jan Koukal (Cze)
Jan Koukal
11-8 11-4 13-11 (60m)
Ryan Cuskelly
Martin Knight (Nzl)
 13-11 11-5 11-5
[3] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
[4] Julian Illingworth (Usa)
[Q] Andrew McDougall (Can)
Julian Illingworth
11-7 11-7 10-12 11-5 (60m)
Henrik Mustonen
Julian Illingworth
11-6 7-11 13-11 11-4 (70m)
Shahier Razik
Henrik Mustonen (Fin)
12-10 9-11 11-8 11-9
Justin Todd (Can)
Arturo Salazar (Mex)
12-10, 5-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3
[Q] David Phillips (Can)
Arturo Salazar
 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11 (70m)
Shahier Razik
Shawn Delierre (Can)
 16-14, 11-6, 8-11, 2-11, 11-9
[2] Shahier Razik (Can)

Grant Grabs Manitoba Glory

England's Adrian Grant made up his team-mates' disappointment in Saturday's World Cup final in India by winning the Winnipeg Building & Decorating Ltd Manitoba Open in Canada.

But the top seed from London took 65 minutes to overcome surprise opponent Julian Illingworth, the fourth seed from the USA, in the climax of the PSA World Tour International 25 event at Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club in Winnipeg.

The record six-time US national champion came out quickly and found his length and width and pinned Grant to the back corners.

"Julian worked his magic, keeping control of the T and looking strong throughout the entire first game," said tournament organiser Gene Turk.

But, in the second and third games, it was the Englishman who took control.

"Adrian started each rally with his targets being the back corners and kept Julian running from side to side. He was now in command and exercised patience, waiting for the proper time to attack," Turk continued.

Illingworth came back in the fourth, trading points with his opponent until Grant edged through in the tie-break to record his 8-11, 11-2, 11-2, 12-10 victory.

"Those second and third games were the best two games that I played in the whole tournament," said Grant later.

The win marks Grant's second PSA Tour title success in Canada, and the 18th of his career - taking the left-hander to within one Tour title triumph of his Commonwealth Games Doubles gold medal-winning partner Nick Matthew, the world number one who is England's leading Tour title winner.

Grant now moves on to Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta - where he is competing in the Calgary Winter Club Rocky Mountain Open, a PSA World Tour International 35 event at Calgary Winter Club.

Unseeded, Grant faces top-ranked Swiss player Nicolas Mueller in the opening round.

Grant & Illingworth Make Manitoba Final

US number one Julian Illingworth upset second-seeded Canadian Shahier Razik in the Winnipeg Building & Decorating Ltd Manitoba Open to earn a surprise place in the final of the PSA World Tour International 25 squash event at Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club in Winnipeg, Canada.

The New Yorker, ranked 34 in the world, took the opening game - but the Canadian, ranked eight places higher, fought back to draw level, then opened up a 5-0 lead in the third before reaching game ball at 10-5.

But the record six-time US champion held his nerve to whittle down the lead to take the game into a tie-break - before clinching his own game ball at 12-11.

It was level to four-all in the fourth when 27-year-old Illingworth took complete charge to race through to his 11-6, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4 victory after 70 minutes - and reach his 14th Tour final.

In their first meeting for over four years, Illingworth will now face Englishman Adrian Grant.

The top seed from London maintained the upper hand throughout the other semi-final against Ryan Cuskelly, beating the third seed from Australia 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 in 48 minutes.

The 30-year-old left-hander, ranked 18 in the world, is celebrating his 26th appearance in a PSA World Tour final.

Razik Rallies To Manitoba Semis

Shahier Razik took home interest through to the semi-finals of the Winnipeg Building & Decorating Ltd Manitoba Open after battling to a 70-minute win over Mexican Arturo Salazar in the quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour International 25 squash event at Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club in Winnipeg, Canada.

The 33-year-old from Toronto started off slowly against the Mexican hotshot - and quickly found himself trailing by a game to love. However, as his body loosened up from the hard two-hour match 24 hours earlier, the Canadian number one started to shine.

"Closing down the court, eliminating Salazar's opportunities, and retrieving any attempts for winners thrown at him, Razik climbed to a 2/1 lead," explained tournament organiser Gene Turk.

"Salazar wasn't to bow out easily though, as the fourth was a see-saw battle to the end, with Salazar desperately attempting to push the match to a fifth and deciding game."

Second seed Razik ultimately triumphed in a tie-break, winning 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11.

Razik will now face North American rival Julian Illingworth, the fourth-seeded US No1 who beat unseeded Finn Henrik Mustonen 11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5.

"The match was one of the most entertaining matches of the evening," said Turk. "The audience was not only presented with a high-intensity, high-calibre squash match, but also a match where sportsmanship and competitor respect was illustrated to the utmost. In the end, the more experienced player, Illingworth, was too much for the young Finn to handle."

In the top half of the draw, favourite Adrian Grant warded off a big upset after climbing back from two games down to beat fellow Englishman Robbie Temple 8-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 14-12 in ten minutes short of two hours.

Qualifier Temple came out flying in the first two games. "He kept the pace high and the angles flying hitting nick after nick. He seemed unstoppable," said Turk.

But Londoner Grant, the world No18, gained control in the next two games as his opponent seemed to be saving himself for the fifth.

The pair traded points back and forth. Grant saved two match-balls in the tie-break before celebrating his marathon win.

Grant will face Ryan Cuskelly in the semi-finals after the third-seeded Australian beat Czech number one Jan Koukal 11-8, 11-4, 13-11.